GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Luke Kornet worked out for more than a dozen NBA teams last spring, but when he watched the NBA Draft from his home in Lexington, Ky., 60 picks came and went without Kornet's name being called.
But soon after the draft, he received a call from the Knicks who wanted to offer him the unique opportunity of a two-way contract.
"The Knicks were the only one who offered me the two-way on the night of the draft, so that was a pretty good obvious choice from the beginning," the 7-foot-1 Kornet said Tuesday at Westchester Knicks Media Day.
"There was an opportunity to maybe earn my way into a two-way somewhere else, but this was the best offer on the night of the draft," added Kornet, who averaged 13.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks last season at Vanderbilt.
Beginning in the 2017 offseason, NBA rosters expanded from 15 to 17 players with the addition of two spots for players under "two-way contracts."
NBA teams may have up to two players under NBA two-way contracts who will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League (the entity formerly known as the NBA D-League is now sponsored by Gatorade), and not more than 45 days with their NBA team. Two-way players are paid a corresponding daily amount based on the number of days they play in each league. Only players with four or fewer years of NBA service are able to sign two-way contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.
Last Friday, the Knicks signed their second two-way player in former North Carolina forward Isaiah Hicks, who won a national championship with the Tar Heels in 2017, when he averaged 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds.
"For me, I worked out with them pre-draft so for me it was a great opportunity," Hicks said at the Knicks training facility in Tarrytown. "You're still part of the team, you're right here, especially this one. Not a lot of two-ways are right here where the real team practices so I feel it's just a great opportunity for me so I was very excited."
Kornet's father, Frank, was drafted at No. 30 by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1989. Unlike Hicks, Luke Kornet was in training camp with the Knicks, which helped familiarize him with the system and also learn from more experienced big men like Enes Kanter, Kyle O'Quinn, Willy Hernangomez and Joakim Noah, who is sitting out the first 12 games on a drug suspension.
"There's a ton to learn from [Kristaps Porzingis], there's a ton to learn from every guy on our team," Kornet said. "Joakim, KO, Willy, all those guys have knowledge and experience that I can learn from and try to apply to my game, and they were eager to teach and help me out."
He added: "So many of them have different little aspects to their game that make them successful. You can really look at their front court and there's like every type of big man out there."
Because the Knicks have so many bigs, there doesn't appear to be an immediate window for Kornet or Hicks to play with the big club.
Both players said they're focusing on their time with the Westchester Knicks, but of course, their ultimate goal is to play in the NBA.
"I feel like it's very great," the 6-10 Hicks said. "My biggest thing is of course learning the new system, learning the new plays, but once I get feel for the overall game I feel like I can really do something."
He added: "I feel like the Knicks, especially with my athletic ability, I feel like it's a great opportunity for me to show what I can do."
Both Allan Houston, the GM of the Westchester Knicks, and Craig Robinson, the Knicks director of player development who also happens to be Barack Obama's brother-in-law, are big fans of the new two-way contracts.
"I think the two-way program is a great idea," Robinson said. "And one of the main reasons, it gives us a chance to keep some talent that we've been losing to Europe and other places here in the United States. It gives 60 more guys an opportunity to play in the NBA. I would've loved to have that when I was playing. And then finally you're getting two more Knick players better that could end up winning some games for you at the Garden."
Houston pointed out that before the two-way the Westchester Knicks had previously lost players like Langston Hughes and Chasson Randle to other NBA teams. But now with the two-way, those players can only be called up to the Knicks.
"I think this is a very sound transition towards one-to-one," Houston said. "You develop and have players like Langston and Chasson Randle. We've had players that have come through our system that we fully intended to have on the Knicks roster but there's only so many roster spots.
"Then you go through this process and they feel comfortable, they develop and the system didn't allow for them to remain with us. So what we found is during the draft process last year we kept in mind that this could be a potential asset for us an organization."
He added that teams like the Knicks, who dropped to 0-3 with Tuesday's loss in Boston, will "explore and figure out how to use [the two-way] to their advantage" going forward.
"Even in training camp now, you have 12 bodies instead of 10 and that really helps for both teams in practice because a lot of the development happens not just in the games but it happens before, after and the down times when you can really craft your skills and that's part of the process."
Kornet, for one, says he's not looking ahead too much to a chance to play with the Knicks, but it's in the back of his mind.
"I think right now we're just completely focused on our camp here and improving this team as much as we can," Kornet said. "I don't think our heads are really elsewhere."
Follow @AdamZagoria on Twitter.